Jessy Rose was just 18 when he first came to attention as frontman of Hare Squead. They soon became Ireland’s hottest emerging band, amassing 50 million streams, performing at festivals all over Europe and collaborating with GoldLink. But in 2018, he stepped away from the spotlight to focus on a solo project.
Now the young Dubliner’s long-awaited return takes shape as he shares his new single ‘Set Free’. Listen HERE. It offers an introduction into his story, a compelling take of redemption and rebirth, that is charted in his debut EP ‘Are You Home?’ which follows on March 5th. L
‘Set Free’ is a heartfelt confessional in which Jessy unravels his conflicting emotions about making that change. He acknowledges that there was something special about Hare Squead’s rise together, but also the admittance that the pressure that came with that success was more than he could handle. Instead, his full focus is on making it alone, but there’s no boisterous bravado: just the acceptance that it’s what he has to do to again thrive.
There’s no room for Jessy to hide his story in Ben Esser’s warm, enveloping production. Which is an apt approach as Jessy has never sounded better, his rich sonorous tone giving everything he can to the story.
“‘Set Free’ is the most vulnerable I’ve ever made myself on record,” says Jessy. “It’s kinda scary sharing these thoughts and emotions with the world but it’s also freeing. It was the first song I wrote for the EP so I hope this song gives people a better insight into what I felt like at the beginning of the writing process.”
The ‘Are You Home?’ EP is similarly unguarded, especially with the direct lyricism of its opening tracks ‘When You’re Better’and ‘On My Own’. By the time ‘Selah’ strikes a choral, hymnal tone of redemption, it’s apparent that Jessy has battled his demons and somehow emerged stronger for the experience. It’s elegantly summarised in the EP’s final words, “I could feel an essence pure / And I was carried out of the storm.”
Jessy wrote 200 songs for potential inclusion on this EP over the last two years. The textured alt R&B of ‘Set Free’ and ‘On My Own’ contrast with the raw ‘When You’re Better’ and ‘Judas’, both of which Jessy and Ben constructed around the original phone-recorded demos.
Jessy adds, “This EP is very lyrically orientated because most of it was written based on my lucid dreams. I kept a dream journal and wrote about my dreams quite a lot. It was more poetic at the start, then I picked up my guitar and turned them into songs naturally. These songs are very close to my heart and I hope you connect to them.”
Aside from working with Ben Esser on this EP, Jessy has collaborated with producers including Hoskins, SG Lewis, Jazz Purple and Felix Joseph. He also co-wrote Mahalia’s 40-million stream hit ‘Sober’.
His return was kickstarted in 2020 when he featured on Ben Esser’s ‘Daily’, a track which has since exceeded a millionstreams and was included on Spotify’s Butter Playlist. His low-key introduction continued with praise from Hot Press and Guap for his debut solo single ‘Bloom’ before he dropped ‘Last Week’, a collab with KhakiKids and Nafets.
The ‘Are You Home?’ EP is available to pre-save / pre-order here.
‘Are You Home?’ tracklist:
‘When You’re Better’
- ‘On My Own’
- ‘Set Free’